The Pennsylvania manhunt to find Eric Frein is costing law enforcement agencies more than $1 million per week as hundreds of officers from three states have flocked to the Poconos to form a net around the man accused of gunning down two Pennsylvania state troopers, reports the Allentown Morning Call. The round-the-clock manhunt involving as many as 1,000 officers each day is now in its fifth week, as costs escalate and police leave their home jurisdictions to capture Frein. With no guarantee that the search will end soon, it raises the questions of how long the Pennsylvania State Police can keep up the pressure, and is it worth the costs that in personnel alone almost certainly exceed $1.3 million per week.
The answers to those questions, says retired state police Troop M Commander Ted Kohuth, are “as long as it takes” and “whatever cost is necessary.” “It is true that the costs of this are great,” said Kohuth, who retired as commander in 2003 before spending eight years as police chief in Whitehall Township. “But the costs of failing to do it are much greater. It would set a dangerous precedent. You do not let a killer who assassinated a law enforcement officer run free.” The hunt for Frein, the unemployed 31-year-old survivalist and war re-enactor, is setting a precedent of its own. In its more than century-long history, state police have conducted several manhunts, ranging from a few hours to months. Most involved search parties sent out after escaped convicts who eluded capture for as long as five months. Some were dragnets for murder suspects that lasted several days.